Upgrading My Home

Remodeling versus buying a new home.

One way to upgrade your home, of course, is to buy a new home. Buying lets you move into a more desirable neighborhood, and avoid the expense, time, and inconvenience of remodeling. Having been through a couple of major remodeling projects ourselves, we can candidly tell you those costs should not be underestimated.

You may not be ready to buy a new home at this time, however, or you may not want to buy a new home, especially if you like the area where you live. In these circumstances you can upgrade your home by remodeling.

When you remodel your home, you must of course choose upgrades that make sense for your family, your budget, and your lifestyle. At the same time, you may want to consider upgrades that will make your home more attractive to buyers when you’re ready to move on. Our basic recommendation is simple: Choose functionality and aesthetics that work for you now, and prioritize upgrades that will create the most value when it’s time to sell your home.

When I remodel my home, how can I maximize the return on my investment?

If you’re like most homeowners, you probably want to know how the cost of a particular remodeling project compares to the value the project adds to your home. We can help you answer that question with insight about what buyers really want, and data comparing remodeled and non-remodeled homes in your neighborhood.

The most attractive homes to buyers are those that look light, bright, and clutter-free. We can work with you to accomplish much of that desirable look-and-feel right before you put your home on the market, with simple projects such as applying fresh coats of light-colored paint, cleaning the carpets, and removing excess furniture and other unnecessary items. That said, our experience analyzing comparable properties is that the following types of projects tend to maximize a home’s resale value:

  • kitchen: consider new solid surface countertops (e.g., CesarStone, IceStone, granite) and new appliances
  • bathrooms: update the lighting and fixtures
  • flooring: consider hardwood, stone, or tile; if you go with carpet, choose a light, neutral color
  • landscaping: expand your yard visually through landscaping

Is there anything besides cost that I should be concerned about when I remodel?

Absolutely! We are strong advocates of investing in family health and comfort, while at the same time making choices that reduce the impact on our environment. Think about not only improving your quality of life, but also doing the right thing.

One of the most important items to consider is your home’s indoor air quality. According the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the air in new homes can be ten times more polluted than the air outside. How is that possible? Materials that are commonly used in cabinets and doors, as well as adhesives, paints, and floor finishes, contain compounds that are known to cause cancer and trigger asthma. These chemicals are commonly found in building materials (e.g. formaldehyde in doors, cabinets, countertops, interior trim, and shelving). In older homes, poor air quality caused by new building materials can be exacerbated by conditions like poor ventilation, which can lead to increased pollutants such as dust and mold. Choose materials carefully, and make sure that you have efficient kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans that are vented to the outside.

Call us for a free consultation.

We can help you figure out where to get the biggest resale bang for your buck in your remodeling projects. We also have many valuable resources at our disposal, including skilled contractors and Green Point Raters who can help you select and install the best products for your home. Call us today for a free consultation about smart ways to remodel your home.

Andy & Lori Orion